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Observing and understanding environmental factors in viewing choices

Problem faced

There is no shortage of viewership data, however understanding why and how people navigate to platforms and select content is much harder to come by.

  • Exposure to the confounding variables of use, such as time, place and the presence of others (human or otherwise) - How does time of day, need state, and who else is in the room drive these choices?
  • What are the frustrations, distractions and diversions happening with the technology?
  • How are needs for content evolving? Does everyone want short-form content or do they want to escape into longer style content?
  • Frustrations via device - e.g. watching via TV vs laptop vs mobile
  • How do different demographics navigate systems differently and how do their needs for content differ?


Observing behaviour in the moment is key. You can do this using a split-screen methodology with an overlay of post-rationalised self-commentary. Recordings can begin before use and continue after use.

Case Study

We asked a couple of respondents to record themselves and their screens as they began a TV watching experience (typically sample size n=10), and made their content selections. Insights from this methodology can help platforms enhance the user experience as they see in context selection of content.

Using our split-screen/post-rationalising overlay methodology, we watched them as they played and reported back on their experience.

What we explored

  • How do the respondents begin their experience - what is their typical routine/set up process? Who are they with, what time of day?
  • Observe how they interact with technology - what was their original intent when beginning the experience? What did they decide to watch?
  • If they stream multiple services, how do they decide where to go first?
  • Are there any pain points in the process? What would they improve in the interface?

What did we learn?

Get in touch,  (or use the form below) and we'd be happy to share some of our insights PLUS give you access to the raw footage via our video platform.

Why Watch Me Think?

Watch Me Think is a strategic qualitative market research agency. We use mobile ethnography to record authentic customer and consumer behaviours.

Human led analysis is then applied to bring you actionable reports and persuasive highlight videos.

We help you bridge empathy gaps, become even more consumer centric, identify previously unknown opportunities, test your prototypes, and provide rapid, value-driven pre- and post-launch testing across 51 countries. In essence, we help people understand people better.

  • We're about watching and listening, not just asking
  • Exploring what people do, not just what they say they do
  • Bringing to life your consumers, getting you closer.
  • Helping you to empathise, and instil that throughout your organization

What types of studies do our clients commission with us?

  • Qualitative Behavioural Research: Bringing a clearer understanding of actual consumer behaviour. Not just claimed behaviour.
  • Consumer Closeness: Moving it from slogan and into a culture.
  • Bringing Insights To Life: Letting the consumer communicate the findings. Because insights must be sold, not just found.

How we helped Sarah Haslett at M&S

M&S (a UK retailer of clothes and food) wanted to make consumer closeness part of the business culture.

To do so, they decided to implement a continuous consumer closeness programme, whereby they collected video footage every month on different topics.